Project Sponsor Video – Getting a Bad Sponsor to Do His Job

In project management, the project sponsor’s role is critical. The most of the project sponsor’s work happens at the beginning of the project. Many failed projects are blamed on project managers and teams when in reality the failure was caused by the project sponsor’s shabby work at the beginning of the project.

Dick Billows, PMP

Dick Billows, PMP
Dick’s Books on Amazon

Sponsor Video: Synopsis

This video is about a new project manager who is working for a project sponsor, Mr. Calderone, who is known for not doing the sponsor job correctly. Watch the new project manager go through all the steps of initiating the new project and battling with Mr. Calderone to get him to do his job correctly.

Obviously Mr. Calderone outranks the new project manager so she must tread carefully. She seeks guidance from two experienced project managers regarding subtle ways to “guide” Mr. Calderone to do his job correctly. They start with the statement of work or SOW. Mr. Calderone tries to get away with a vague, mushy definition of the project scope. The project manager slowly convinces him that he has to make a commitment to exactly what he wants from the project. So the scope must be defined by measurable acceptance criteria. That lets the project manager tell every team member what’s expected from them and the project as a whole.

Next the project manager works with Mr. Calderone to define the major deliverables of the project. They sub-divide those into a second level of deliverables. With the guidance of the two experienced PMs, she creates a network of deliverables that is crystal-clear and measurable. After that, she gets Mr. Calderone to define and approve the charter for the project. Then she moves on to the project planning phase.

Sponsor Duties: Summary

The sponsor duties include setting the goal for the project, providing the funds to “pay” for it, and appointing the project manager. In addition, the sponsor approves the project management plan (how the PM will manage the project) and the project plan itself (the schedule, budget, risk management plan, quality plan, procurement plan, stakeholder management plan, etc.). So it is the sponsor’s job to approve every detail of how the project will be executed to reach the goal they set at the beginning of the project. The project manager is certainly involved in the development of every step, but the sponsor reviews and approves it before launch. During the project execution phase, the sponsor approves any changes to the original plans the sponsor approved during initiation. He or she also accepts every deliverable the project produces. At the end of the project, the sponsor accepts the final deliverable and the project is complete. Project Methodology Main Page

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